Interactivity, convenience, speed, organization, and efficiency describe only some of the opportunities that networked workers bring to an organization. The ability to virtually communicate with anyone around the world can foster strong working relationships, promote the ability for businesses to conduct negotiations and agreements, and enable organizations to promote their products easily and efficiently.
Although the Internet has advanced the capabilities of networked workers within an organization, there are also many challenges that are associated with workers that use the Internet to conduct business. Communication is a fundamental practice with any business type. When dealing with business communications across the globe, networked workers may find there are many cultural differences that may affect their interactions with other networked workers. Many business dealings require workers from different areas of the world to discuss complex product specifications and in many circumstances these communications must be mutually understood. When they are not, complications in negotiations and agreements may be problematic. For example,
Additionally, the rise in available resources on the Internet has enabled workers to expand their knowledge about a particular subject. If fact, many organizations use the Internet to research topics to help them become more effective. A study conducted for nonprofit organizations concludes that “utilizing available Internet tools is quickly becoming necessary for an NPO’s survival” (Miller, 2010 p.47). However, networked workers must be cautious of the reliability of information that is available to them. The endless use of blogging and social networking is overloaded with both reliable and unreliable sources of information and workers must choose the source of information wisely.
More specifically, in the business of education, more public and private universities have adopted non-traditional methods to learning that include distant-learning programs. Online learning allows students to attend classes, interact in discussions, and take online assessments from anywhere in the world. Although this is convenient for the learner, it poses many concerns with some online educators. Because online assessment is much easier to access and educators can not watch students work or take tests, this presents many concerns for educators. Some may claim that because of these factors, students are much more likely to cheat.
Perhaps one of the most profound challenges that are associated to networked workers is an Internet security threat. Many organizations attempt to use secure networks by using anit-virus, firewalls, and anti-spyware. However, many organizations still face security risks that target and breach many high-profile data of large corporations. According to the 2010/2011 Computer Crime and Security Survey, 41.6% of the respondents within organizations say they have experienced a security incident (CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey, 2011/12). Although this number shows that most respondents do not experience security threats, this is still an issue within organizations.
Overall, the Internet has many benefits when used by networked workers within organizations. The resources on the Internet have enabled users to connect globally, increase productivity, and provide an efficient way to conduct business. Although, there are many benefits, risks do exist. Organizations and networked workers should be educated on these risks and act appropriately.
Computer Security Institute. Computer Crime and Security Survey. (2011/2012). Retrieved: https://cours.etsmtl.ca/log619/documents/divers/CSIsurvey2010.pdf
Miller, D., (2010), Nonprofit Organizations and the Emerging Potential of Social Media and Internet Resources. Volume 6, Issue Article 4.